Friends

Summer BBQ

Saturday we had a BBQ at our house. We wanted to throw a BBQ last year to get some real use out of our new deck but our summer kind of got away from us. So this year I decided to put it on the calendar to make sure it happened. 🙂

I got a travel-sized cornhole game for the yard.

Michael got a bunch of bratwurst sausages and I got some veggie dogs, cheddar dogs and hot dogs for the kids. He decided to use the smoker. He cooked the sausages in beer and sauerkraut. (The veggie dogs were kept separate.) And he caramelized some onions.

We had chips, pita chips, hummus and nuts. And everyone brought a dish to share. There was so much food! Mac n’ cheese, a veggie salad, three bean salad, fruit salad, cheddar and bacon biscuits, and a dip.

The dip was SO good! It was a tomato and bacon dip that I could very easily eat way too much of. This is the recipe she used:

Bacon Tomato Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 container (8 oz) reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons cooked real bacon pieces (from 2.8-oz package)
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded, diced (3/4 cup) SAVE $
  • 2 medium green onions, sliced (2 tablespoons)
  • Assorted fresh vegetables (bell pepper strips, broccoli, cauliflower florets, cucumber slices, radishes)

Instructions

  1. In medium bowl, mix sour cream and mayonnaise. Stir in bacon, tomato and onions.
  2. Serve with vegetables for dipping.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=55389

The dip was delicious and there wasn’t much left at the end of the night. I will definitely be making this recipe for the next potluck I go to.

Also, someone made peach/nectarine/bourbon empanadas! So yummy!

It was a fun night. I was so glad everyone was able to come over and hang out. There was music and then later Michael and his friend brought out their guitars and goofed around. We also had some kids, too, so Logan got to play with his buddies!

Logan had SO much fun! He was filthy, too. Covered in dirt and ketchup and all sorts of stuff. 😉

Happy summer!

Smokin’ Weekend

Over the weekend we got to try out our new Traeger smoker!

Saturday

We had another couple over for dinner to have ribs. Michael started the ribs at about noon and then we ate at 7-ish.

Michael has been really good at BBQing ribs, it’s one of his specialties, but smoking them for several hours first made them out of this world!

He used a combination of a BBQ seasoning rub and a recipe that the Traeger book recommended (honey, mustard, brown sugar) and then for the last hour of the cooking he added the BBQ sauce.

The ribs were absolutely perfect! The meat fell off the bone. The flavors were so rich and smokey. It was like nothing we’d ever had before. Smoking the ribs was sooo good.

Michael said next time he does ribs he’d do the timing a little different. I think he was saying it was a 3-2-1 process where you smoke them for 3 hours then cook them in foil for 2 hours then the last hour is cooking uncovered on the grill and using BBQ sauce. He said he wanted to play with the time a little bit next time.

Our friends brought a delicious Asian-inspired cucumber salad. The cucumbers were from her garden. The salad was really tasty and went so well with the ribs.

Sunday

Michael bought a giant hunk of brisket at Costco and started the Traeger at 7am. He followed the recipe in the Traeger book for the first time. A few years ago I bought him Franklin’s BBQ book so I think he’ll use that in the future, too.

This was definitely an all day process and he said he should have started it a bit earlier in the morning.

I picked the first batch of jalapenos from the garden and Michael pickled a bunch and then saved a few and made poppers as an appetizer. SO TASTY!

Michael’s mom and stepdad, sister and friend Jeremy came over to be guinea pigs for the first ever brisket.

Once the brisket was done, we wrapped it in foil to rest for almost an hour.

More wine:

And the unveiling!

Michael’s mom made potato salad from scratch and Michael’s sister made a delicious salad of cucumbers, tomatoes and onions. It was all really tasty and went perfectly with the meat.

For a first attempt, the brisket was really, really good. There were a few tough pieces but for the most part it was great! The flavor was outstanding. We are all super excited to try again!